Billie Holiday (1915-1959), American jazz musician and singer-songwriter, was born on this day, April 7th in 1915. Holiday had a strong influence on the music industry, as her voice captured the audience and she pioneered a new way of phrasing and creating tempo.
Holiday had a difficult childhood and early career, she found solace in in music and was inspired by Luis Armstrong and Bessie Smith. She persisted through hardships, even without formal vocal training, to become a legendary performer who’s influence on the music industry still reverberates widely today.
Holiday had 16 best selling songs in 1937, making her the most commercially successful artist of that time. She appeared in numerous films and televised shows during her career. She was the recipient of four Grammy Awards posthumously for Best Historical Album. Holiday was induced into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1973 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. Her life was full and complicated, and at the very core this legendary icon was human and fragile. Today, on her Birthday, we honor the amazing Billie Holiday.